Side Trip
New Belgium Brewing Company

Side TripSide Trip
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Belgian Pale Ale
3.78 | pDev: 11.11%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Side TripSide Trip
Notes: Sometimes it’s a side trip that makes the journey. During our last anniversary retreat to Belgium, brewmaster Peter Bouckaert embarked on a sensory excursion to find the perfect yeast strain for his next creation: Side Trip Belgian Pale Ale. A beer from Brouwerij Van Den Bossche led Bouckaert to the brewery’s family Buffalo yeast strain, which they happily shared, and the foundation was set. Additions of Belgian Chateau Abbey and Cara Ruby malts from Castle Malting, the oldest malting plant in Belgium, as well as Belgian Magnum, Saphir and Target hops builds a bready, caramel-sweet wash with traces of stone fruits, and a balanced herbal bitterness for a pleasantly dry finish. Take a break from your journey with a Side Trip.
Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 244 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a pretty nice amber color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy/foamy white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, yeasty, citrus. The taste is hoppy, malty, citrusy. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken 02/02/17:

Fairly clear, dull orange-amber, capped with orange-tinted cream white head, rocky and foamy and filmy with great retention after it sinks down a more moderate pace at first. A malt tartness and vinegar-like quality to the nose. These together approach the smell of ketchup, but die down quite a bit leaving room for grainy, resinous, metallic, medicinal, somewhat spicy suggestions, not too far off from any number of other Belgians, ranging from this style to a Saison. Resin, grass, grain, tart malt, light lemon to taste with decent metallic/spice-kick which meld well with everything else well into the finish. Fair tartness and bitterness throughout, somewhat out of balance with little retro-olfactory added complexity, so neither as good as an American Pale Ale or a Belgian Pale Ale despite being somewhat between them. I wouldn’t say it is too distracting, but there is definitely an American influence here with the type and abundance of hops. Different enough from other New Belgium offerings (compare to Porch Swing, if anything) to justify its existence. Medium-bodied, creamy at first but froths up to more sloshy and tingly velvet.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Side Trip, brewed by New Belgium Brewing, with an ABV of 6.00% This brew pours out a nice golden amber color with a nice white head. I really like the color of this brew. The smell of Side Trip is rich with sweetness. You pick up on grins and malts at first. Then you pick up on the hops. This brew is different from other pale ales market , Because of the sweetness in the smell. Not saying that is a bad thing. Now for the taste, it is bold , but smooth with flavors. A nice amount grains and malts and hops. Side Trip, has a real nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. I can't get over how smooth this brew is, it is really hard to pick up the 6.00% ABV in this brew. I can't get over how smooth this brew goes down. The mouth feel of Side Trip, is Bold rich smooth and refreshing. Overall I'm giving Side Trip a 4.25 out of 5. I would definitely buy this pale ale again. If you are looking for a smooth refreshing ale look this one up. New Belgium Brewing did a real nice job with this pale ale.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Side Trip | New Belgium Brewing. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this beer's head is two fingers thick, with solid lacing, and a clear deep medium amber body.

I smell clove, bubblegum, and a slightly spicy zest coming from the yeast.

Now I taste the missing ingredient I didn't really oick up on with the aroma, and that's the banana. The addition makes for quite the enjoyable standard BPA.

The mouthfeel here is medium with mild carbonation. Rather clean finish for a BPA, in my opinion.

Overall, I'll give Side Trip | New Belgium Brewing a rating of a 4.25. It doesn't go out if its way to be different or "exceptional". This is a by-the-books offering that would be a good 1st for the uninitiated.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-Spiegelau ipa glass.

A: Bright orange, good clarity, with an average density of effervesce. Small head, dull white coloring, with a low rate of retention and lacing.

S: Nice fruitiness on the nose, green melon, canteloupe, with a soft spicy hops. Low to moderate rate of awareness.

T: Fruity flavor, melon, canteloupe with a nice sweet malting. Soft pine-honey hints with citrus and caramel. Leaves with some floral hop notes on the finish and swallow.

M: Decent crispness, light body, some light sticky malt residue.

O: Overall semi-dry fruitiness, and floral hops with a sweet malting and decent drinkability. Nice touch of belgian yeast, dry. A pleasant drink to relax to, soothing, easy going.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a gentle tan-gold with tremendous foam and impressive head retention. Somewhat funky estery aroma, with a muddled sensibility. There's a pleasant bitterness and an approachable funky note on the palate. Not too bad but it's missing some balance and complexity.

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Photo of mactrail
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Trader Joes. Beautiful golden color with abundant white foam. Pleasing prickly on the tongue with a smooth, mellow mouthfeel. Yeasty, fruity aroma. Malty but light bodied. A scratch of bitterness at the end along with a subtle Belgian drying finish.

This has the taste I have been thinking of lately as "Cream of Wheat." There is a pleasing residual sweetness and that pear flavor that makes me think of a Tripel. It's all about the yeast, and yet the hops make a modest but welcome appearance. This starts out innocuous but grows on the palate. I'll be looking for six of these. It's another welcome surprise from New Belgium and an example of their attention to detail in making excellent light brews.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, this beer pours a clear, medium to dark golden color with several streams of little bubbles rapidly and continuously rising to the beer's surface. Has a nice, fluffy looking white head that's about an inch thick when first poured that settles to a thick ring lining the inside of the glass Along with a big swirl of a film layer if surface foam and good lacing. Aromas of slightly toasted caramel malt sweetness along with a hint of peppery spice, and earthy, florals, slightly citrusy hops and a definite slight yeastyness. The taste is pretty much the same, with a slightly toasted caramel malt sweetness upfront that gives way to a bit of peppery spice, a nice hint of yeast, and an earthy, somewhat floral, slightly citrusy hop bitterness. Good balance of the different flavors here. Has a crisp, yet smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish and is easy to drink in the good way. A solid beer here.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is all Belgian! Prominent yeast character of clove, peppercorns, spice and bubblegum. Still has a nice malty Pale Ale flavor. The clove is tempered and the peppercorns are more prevalent. Drinks light and smooth.

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Photo of Grindelvasdrum
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Translucent golden yellow orange, tiny head that fades quick.
S-Lemon peel, soapy, but not a soapy I disapprove of, I
commonly smell soap with this style, I'm not sure if it's yeast,
coriander, or what? Faint spicy herbal notes like pepper.

T-Very similar to the smell but the lemon peel really shows off here.
M-Very carbonated, clean dry finish.
O-Very easy drinking but not as complex as some in this style.

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Photo of 1ale_man
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. dottle to a tulip. Honey gold in color with two finger head that dissipates quickly but does lace well.
Smells malty and soapy which I think is probably floral. Not too good of a sniffer. And spicey. Pepper, cloves. Good smell.
Taste is great. Bready, malty, and spicey. Some sweetness.
Smooth on the tongue. Not watery at all.
Overall a good beer. Have one more left. Maybe more next season.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass and a faint amber highlights. The beer has a tow finger tall dense foamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a couple of medium to large sized patches of very thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grainy, bready, and pale malts with a moderate amount of fruity (apple and pear) yeast, citrus/orange, and floral/honeysuckle.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of grainy, bready, and pale malts with a light amount of honey sweetness and a moderate amount of floral/honeysuckle. That is followed by moderate flavors of fruity (apple and pear) yeast and light flavors of citrus/orange + herbal hops. There is a light amount of bitterness towards the finish but it fades away pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp upfront with a light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: Pretty easy to drink with well hidden alcohol. Enjoyable and worth grabbing.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six pack of New Belgium's Side Trip a few weeks at Krogers. I'm always down to try a new beer from New Belgium, so lets see how it goes. 2016 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks goo and it goes goo with the name, it's a little eye catching. It poured a fairly clear golden amber color that took on a little more of an amber hue when held to the light with a two fingers worth of chunk and creamy slightly off white head that died down to a thick layer that faded to a thin ring and it left lots of nice patching lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the Belgian yeast being the first to show up and it imparts all the typical estery Belgian yeast flavors and it's followed by some spices with a little bit of clove sticking out the most and it leads into some doughy malts with some sweet malts and pale malts showing up towards the end. This beer has a nice aroma and it's pretty true to style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but a little lighter and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the Belgian yeast still being the first the to show up and it imparts the same aspects that it did in the aroma with a little more spices coming through in the taste with the cloves still sticking out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart that same mixture of doughy, sweet malts and pale malts that it did in the aroma. On the finish there's hardly any bitterness with some sweetness taking it's place. This is a nice tasting beer that's pretty solid for the style.

M- Smooth, a little crisp, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a pretty solid example of the style, I've had much better, but most of them have been from Belgium, so this one is better than most american made ones. It's got nice drinkability, I could drink a couple, but it might start to wear on me. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance, it's a very good looking beer. What I like the least about this beer is the taste and aroma, they aren't bad, but they aren't as great as they could be. I don't think I would buy this beer again, but I wouldn't turn it down and I would recommend it if you want a Belgian Pale Ale that's a little on the lighter side. It's not a favorite beer from this brewery and it's a little above average for the style. Nice job guys, this was solid.

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Photo of Squire
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Another Belgium Pale from NB, glad to see they keep putting out variations on the style.

Beautiful golden color, hop forward scent with light malt following. Flavor, texture and taste sensations are in the medium range with nothing jumping out as either exceptional or negative.

All in all, a decent effort worth the price of admission.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is by far the best New Belgium offering I have had to date, and by far the tastiest pale ale I have had to date, as well.

An orange tinge to the beer gives it some nice highlights. Although the head has little staying power, the lacing is good from top to bottom. The brew starts off very smooth and then get spicier the more you take it. The hop's they say they use are unlike anything I believe I've ever tasted and I really enjoyed it. This pale ale was very sessionable due to its mouthfeel and the only regret I have is that I only had two to enjoy from a make-your-own variety pack.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 12 oz bottle. Pours bright and clear after being nearly frozen in the back of my fridge. I was expecting a hazy beer, so the bright body and rich head were a welcome surprise.

The aroma is restrained but very nice with Belgian style yeasty goodness rolling around on a mattress of malt. Very minimal hop aroma.

The flavor hits this right notes with slightly more bitterness than I expected. This isn't a knock your socks off Belgian power-house of flavor as some saisons can be, but instead a well constructed pale ale in a more Belgian style (as opposed to the very tired hoppy "pale ales" which are run of the mill in the US these days).

Conclusion: This is a really nice beer from a very big brewery. Yet another reason I love living in Colorado.

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Photo of jmasher85
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Points for presentation - a luscious, foamy head, creamy texture, and crispy clear body make this beer quite stunning to behold. The flavor ain't half bad either. Peaches, bananas, and soft Belgian yeast on the front, with classic American hoppy bitterness in the back. It's like drinking two beers in one, which may put some people off, but to me, the hops on the end of each sip just prepares the palate for the richness of the beginning of the next sip. Well done, overall.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours translucent honey gold with a one inch white head that remains as a thick cap on top and leaves webs of lace. The smell is of earthy grains and bitter hops. The taste is more balanced with bready malt, faint hop bitterness and a subtle fruit sweetness.

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Photo of OompaMentor
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into 16oz pint glass. Burnt gold color with one finger white head. Little to no discernible smell. Beer it's well on palate. Mild bitter taste that lingers. Easy drinking- Prost!!

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this poured into a pint glass. Poured a nearly transparent golden color, clearer than I would have expected. Flavor and aroma were a lot more pale ale than wheat, I can see expectations based on the genre being somewhat variable accounting for the fairly large standard deviation on the ratings. Mouthfeel was crisp with an easy finish. Pretty good.

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Photo of Moose90
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A rather pedestrian Belgian Pale with little development of complexities or rich flavors. Not bad for what it is, just a very easy drinking and slightly dry Belgian accentuated pale.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear honey copper with a small white head, smells of Belgium yeast and slight hops, tastes of piney minty brightness with crisp crackery malts and more of the yeast in the background, mouthfeel is moderate, with a lasting even finish.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin head on a clear straw body.
The aroma is bread and smoke. Interesting.
The taste is mild caramel, dark fruits and herbs.
The texture is softer and fizzy.
It's on the more unique side.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark gold, with a medium-thin white head. Lacing left behind, but it doesn't last long. The aroma is well balanced, with notes of herbs, coriander, and fruit. Taste follows suit, with notes of coriander jumping to the front. Good sweet fruit flavor notes, in addition to a nice malt base. Mouth feel is great. The beer sits well, and feels easy to drink. Maybe a little carbonation sting at the end, but my mouth is sensitive to that. Overall, a great beer with a solid aroma and taste. I'd certainly recommend this to one looking for a pale ale on the sweet side.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of TonyLema1
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L: nice deep gold color, the best part of this beer
S: saison-like, a little funk
T: see smell
F: good mouthfeel, bitter finish
O: I was hoping for more, a bit disappointed

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Side Trip from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 244 ratings